PRETORIA-- The chairperson of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) in Eastern Cape Province, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, has urged traditional leaders in rural areas to be vigilant against cult churches after last week's lethal shootings involving the Seven Angels Ministry.

Following the killing of five policemen and a former soldier at the Ngcobo police station in Eastern Cape Province last Wednesday, police killed seven suspects at the Ngcobo church on Friday evening, three of whom were church leaders. Ten people were arrested and police were late Saturday searching hills in the area for any suspect who may have escaped.

Chief Nonkonyana said Sunday the fact that the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry is anti-Constitution, anti-education and encourages people to leave their jobs, is proof they want to destroy the nation.

Traditional leaders must be vigilant and they must actually make sure that these churches are not havens for criminals and also assist members of our communities not to be misled as we believe that cultism is involved with the view to really destroy the future of our young children, denying them the right to go to school and to grow as responsible children.

Meanwhile, the Independent Police Investigate Directorate (IPID) has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances under which the seven suspects, linked to the murder of five police officers, were gunned down by police at Ngcobo.

The seven suspects were killed in what police say was a shootout at the church on Friday evening. It is alleged that the suspects had a hand in the murder of five policemen in Ngcobo.

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said Sunday that the investigation officially started on Sunday morning and there would be consequences if proper procedures were not followed.

The investigation is in its early stages. Once we have concluded the investigation we'll be able to determine whether police action was appropriate under the circumstances. Depending on the evidence that we uncover we will then be able to make recommendations in line with the outcome of the investigation," he added.

"If the investigation finds that there's evidence of unnecessary use of force we will make the appropriate recommendations at that time. At this stage we are not there, we haven't uncovered the evidence because we must still do the investigation.


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